Ashton Agar
Ashton Agar Image Credit: Twitter@heraldsunsport

Sydney: Matthew Renshaw has received his first call-up to an Australian Test squad since 2018 with the opener brought in for the third and final match against South Africa beginning next Wednesday in Sydney.

Renshaw is one of two additions named Friday to the 14-man squad with spin-bowling allrounder Ashton Agar also back in favour after injuries to fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where Australia clinched the series.

The 26-year-old Renshaw last played a test match in March 2018 when he rushed to South Africa after Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were suspended following the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

After playing 10 tests, Renshaw was dropped for Bancroft ahead of the 2017-18 Ashes series as a result of poor domestic first-class Sheffield Shield form. The left-hander failed to retain his Cricket Australia contract in 2019-20.

Agar is likely to play on an expected spin-friendly pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The left-arm spinner could play at No. 7 and leave wicketkeeper Alex Carey, who had a maiden test century at the MCG, to be promoted up the order.

Experienced fast bowler Josh Hazlewood will almost certainly end a three-test absence and return to the starting XI after recovering from a side-strain injury sustained against the West Indies in Perth earlier this month.

“Ashton (Agar) offers a second spin option should the Sydney pitch be conducive to turn, as it has done in the past. He also brings a solid batting component,” Australia selector Tony Dodemaide said. “Matthew (Renshaw) is included as a versatile batting option who is in good form."

Australia won the second test on Thursday by an innings and 182 runs by tea on the fourth day. The hosts won the first test in Brisbane by six wickets inside two days.